Dynamite Comics announced this week the return of Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man to a monthly series. Writer Van Jensen and artist Ron Salas will continue Austin’s exploits through the end of the 1970s in The Six Million Dollar Man: Fall of Man.
The year is 1979. Iran has seized American hostages. Columbian drug cartels run rampant. And Le Chic’s “Freak Out” dominates the charts. Amid this deeply troubled world, Steve Austin — everyone’s favorite Six Million Dollar Man — is America’s best hope in its fight against innumerable enemies. When Steve discovers disturbing secrets in OSI’s past, he uses his cybernetic upgrades to rebel against the agency… but he’ll face plenty of threats, like an enemy cyborg, and lasers, and ninjas!
Entertainment Earth is now shipping pretty much all of its gigantic, multi-franchise line of action figures inspired by the Kenner line of Star Wars action figures from the 1970s. Many aren’t aware that Ridley Scott’s Alien had its own line of figures by Kenner, developed and ready to produce until someone realized they were marketing toys to kids based on an R-rated movie most wouldn’t get to see. Those figures were finally remade by Funko toys and discussed here at borg.com last November.
The success of the Alien line prompted figures from nearly every great sci-fi and horror franchise you can think of except Star Wars: Firefly, Back to the Future, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Predator, Escape from New York, and Terminator. Blockbuster horror films including Friday the 13th, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and even the cult classic The Crow. And classic monster films including Dracula, Phantom of the Opera, and The Wolfman. We previewed all of them here.and here and here. A similar but unrelated toy line is producing its own line of Six Million Dollar Man and The Twilight Zone figures, too.
Make no mistake, these figures aren’t for the discerning high-end collector of photo-real sculpts. These figures celebrate all things retro in their dated styling and five-points of articulation in a world of figures made today with far more movement and features.
Finally Steve Austin will make it to the big screen 42 years after Martin Caidin first created the man who was barely alive, rebuilt, better, stronger and faster than he was before in his novel Cyborg. And it’s been 36 years since the 1970s popular TV series went off the air.
And the best part? Mark Wahlberg has been tapped by the Weinstein Co. to play not the Six Million Dollar Man, but the Six Billion Dollar Man in The Six Billion Dollar Man. We at borg.com couldn’t be happier with the selection of Wahlberg if we were allowed to hand pick the actor to play the Bionic Man ourselves. Wahlberg is an actor cranking out some of the most enjoyable films around for the past 15 years, from The Italian Job to The Departed to Shooter to The Happening to Ted to the latest Transformers.
Thankfully, the parody film rumored to be “in the works” supposedly to star Jim Carrey then Robert Downey, Jr. then Leonardo DiCaprio, is now off the table. The original Bionic Man, Lee Majors, expressed concern about a parody earlier this year at Planet Comicon. No worries now!
Wahlberg sported a similar white track suit in Pain and Gain. Will he don the red track suit for Steve Austin?
The Six Billion Dollar Man is expected to start production in 2015 with a 2016 release.
Review by C.J. Bunce
Starting next Wednesday, September 17, 2014, the Bionic Woman is back. This time, in her third comic book series in the past two years, following Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, and The Six Million Dollar Man, it’s a continuation of the original television series, right where the series last left our bionic heroine.
Dynamite Comics is publishing the new series written by Brandon Jerwa, with interior art by David T. Cabrera. Issue #1 features cover art by Sean Chen and Ivan Nunes and a photo incentive cover featuring Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers.
So how does Issue #1 fare?
They have the introduction right, presumably to begin each issue like an episodes of the series. As to moving the series forward in continuity of the era, the tech gets a slight–but only slight–upgrade, with walkie-talkies replaced with wireless comm-links in Jaime’s ears. Dr. Rudy Wells and Oscar Goldman are back, too. So the setting checks out.
Dynamite Comics’ The Bionic Man series, especially Issues #17-26, was among the best comic book reading of 2013. They are now available in a trade paperback: The Bionic Man Volume Three: End of Everything. Featuring a story by Aaron Gillespie, with art by Ed Tadeo and Rey Villegas, colors by Thiago Ribeiro, letters by Simon Bowland, and covers by Mike Mayhew with other regular edition covers and variants by prolific Dynamite Comics artists Jonathan Lau and Ed Tadeo.
The Bionic Man is a great read and recommended for comic book fans. It features Aaron Gillespie’s storytelling, which we lauded on our borg.com Best of 2013 list last year. It also has the whole package from cover to cover–story, art, covers, humor, action, and fun. We won’t re-state what we said in our review last year–you can read that here. Enough of the origin stories that bogs down superhero books, this Steve Austin was able to get out there and do something.
The series featured some of our all-time favorite cover art, with a cover run on Issues #17-22 by The Star Wars artist Mike Mayhew. Mayhew created a new, cool, young look for Steve Austin, who sported the classic track suit updated for a modern audience and fashion sense. His Issue #19 cover has Steve holding a car over his head, and you get to really see the strength. Probably his best cover is for Issue #20, an inspiring cover which reminds me of one of my favorite paintings of President Kennedy.
Zica Toys is releasing a new wave of action figures in its seven-points of articulation 3 3/4 inch line, which previously consisted of Steve Austin in his red tracksuit, a blue tracksuit variant, and Bigfoot. The line includes five new characters and we’re previewing here both the card backs and the sculpts.
We think they look great. Fans of the recent onslaught of 1970s Kenner-style action figures will love these. But you better act now if you want them. Craig Owen, owner of Zica Toys, posted to his Facebook account the following heads-up:
Based on the recent preorder numbers I’ve received it looks like the SMDM wave 2 assortment is at risk of being canceled. Considering how well wave 1 did I’m more than a little shocked at the low numbers for wave 2. For a small company like mine projects typically live or die based on preorder numbers.
So there you have it. You can pre-order them at this link.
They include Oscar Goldman (with his trademark briefcase), Barney Hiller, John Saxon’s evil robot Mr. X, and both actors that played Dr. Rudy Wells.
The final day of Planet Comicon 2014 is here, with a turnout as great as Saturday. Above, your borg.com editor has some fun with The Big Valley, The Fall Guy, and The Six Million Dollar Man star Lee Majors today.
Then author and borg.com writer Elizabeth C. Bunce met William Shatner at one of his several signings. Shatner is shown above with his security detail moving between events.
Elizabeth was sporting her steampunk Red Sonja from Bill Willingham’s Legenderry series.
Thanks to a tip from Firstline Media on Twitter, we bring to you a useful public service announcement (PSA) at a time of year when a new round of flu seems to be sweeping across the country. Lee Majors has donned his Six Million Dollar Man jumpsuit and turtlenecks for an important new mission.
Check out this PSA and take heed, and any Bronies out there should pay close attention:
Funko’s classic Kenner style 3 and 3/4-inch ReAction series of action figures are sure to be a big focus at Sunday’s annual Toy Fair in New York, and we have a first look at the sculpts and packaging courtesy of Entertainment Earth. We revealed the new Predator, Terminator, Escape from New York, Rocketeer, and The Nightmare Before Christmas figures here at borg.com last week, and we couldn’t be more excited about the rest of the line of 1980s style action figures.
The rest of the figures include Back to the Future, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Pulp Fiction, the Universal Monsters, Horror Classics, Goonies, and The Crow.
Some highlights can be found in the Firefly line. Zoe’s sculpt looks particularly well done, Wash comes with his toy dinosaurs, and Jayne comes with his favorite weapon: Vera. Oz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer comes with his guitar. Hellraiser’s Pinhead comes with a tiny puzzle cube. And Bruce Willis finally gets an action figure–his Pulp Fiction character is wearing his dad’s watch from the film. Several characters are represented in the Pulp Fiction line, but no Christopher Walken, yet. There’s no Xander from Buffy, either, or Josh Brolin’s character from Goonies, or a River or Simon for the Firefly line.
Each of these can be pre-ordered from Entertainment Earth at the early bird prices by clicking on the images below. We’re betting this first line will be a big success and that Funko will move on to expand these lines and add more licensed properties in the future. Check out these great series:
The Six Million Dollar Man himself, Lee Majors will be one of the featured guests at the next Planet Comicon comic book and pop culture convention in Kansas City, Missouri. Propelled to sci-fi icon status in the 1970s because of his five-year stint as the astronaut Steve Austin who became the first modern cyborg, Majors was already known to Western fans for his roles on The Big Valley and The Virginian. And the action figure with his likeness remains one of the best-selling toys of all time.
In his post-borg years Majors starred as stuntman Colt Seavers in The Fall Guy. Not a year has gone by since his five years on The Fall Guy that Majors hasn’t appeared as a guest actor on TV series after TV series, including having a key role in Season 2 of TNT’s Dallas reboot this year.
After meeting up with the Bionic Woman Lindsay Wagner at Planet Comicon 2013, we’re doubly psyched to see one of our favorite borg actors in person. We’re looking forward to meeting the man who sported that red track suit and, backed by the sound effects and famous techno theme song, became the guy that OSI’s Oscar Goldman promised us each week “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the
capability to build the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.”
Planet Comicon 2014 will be held in Kansas City’s giant Bartle Hall, March 14-16. Ticket sales will begin December 1, 2013. Check out the Planet Comicon website link at the bottom of the borg.com home page in the coming weeks for more announcements. Planet Comicon 2014 promises to be the biggest show in more than a decade of being one of the Midwest’s premier fan conventions. borg.com will again have a presence at the show with updates all weekend.